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Jim Murray's tasting notes:

First release, cask #2, distilled 25.11.2001, bottled November 2004
Nose 23 points: Golden Gordon breakfast cereal. The slightly burnt ones with honey.
Taste 24 points: Breathtakingly intense barley concentrate and toasted honeycomb; the brown sugars dissolve in layers: spellbinding...
Finish 23 points: Those neo-bourbon notes continue. Some liquorice, inevitably, gets in on the act. The bittersweet balance is textbook: mind you... you'd expect a great Finnish, wouldn't you...
Balance 23.5 points: What an unexpected treat!
Total points: 93.5 points.

Second release, cask #5, distilled 25.2.2003, bottled July 2007
Nose 24 points: I assume Finland is part of Kentucky. Pure bourbon: with the nose offering every degree of honeycomb-liquorice imaginable...
Taste 24 points: I am no longer in my chair... I have been catapulted to the furthest recess of my tasting room... the delivery nigh defies description, other than that we are talking huge - and I mean bloody gargantuan - degrees of Manuka honey and oak on its sweetest, toastiest foam...
Finish 24 points: long, so enormously long. Just carries on the bourbon theme with the oak throbbing out waves og liquorice and hickory and the spices just pulse merrily away and never for one moment either losing balance or dredging up unwanted notes from either cask or still...
Balance 24 points: It's as though they have been distilling George T Stagg...!! Quite amazing: perhaps the surprise package of the year. I thought the first bottling was a freak. This really does send you not so much into another orbit but an entirely parallel universe. Buck me...!!!
Total points: 96 points.
EUROPEAN MAINLAND WHISKY OF THE YEAR! (Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009)

"In the end the title went to Finland for the very first time, until now not exactly a nation that immediately springs to the lips when you are thinking of Grade A distilling countries. The catchily named Panimoravintola Beer Hunter's Old Buck (second release) made in Pori, offering some of the most intense and frankly gripping whisky I have tasted in a very long time, even managed to upstage the usual stunning malts from Mackmyra, showing that Scandinavia is a serious force to be reckoned with and may soon have to be regarded as a region in its own right."
-Jim Murray-

Cask #4, distilled 3/2004, bottled April 2010, 70.6%
Total points: 95 (n24+t23+f24+b24) Just read the tasting notes to the second release because a dose of what almost seems like corn oil and ancient Demerara rum combined apart, oh - and an extra dose of oak, there is barely any difference I will never ever forget how I got this sample. I was giving a tasting in Helsinki a few months back to a horseshoe-shaped audience and a chap who had been sitting to my right and joining in with all the fun introduced himself afterwards as I signed a book for him as non other than Mika Heikkinen, the owner and distiller of this glorious whisky. I had not been told he was going to be there. His actual, touchingly humble words were: "You might be disappointed, you may think it rubbish and five it a low score. It just means I have to do better next time." No, I am not disappointed: I am astonished. No, it isn't rubbis: it is, frankly, one of the great whiskies of the year. And if you can do better next time, then you are almost certainly in line for the Bible's world whisky of the year award.




Tasting notes by H.A. Hakonen:


Aged 3 years, d 25.11.2001, b 11/2004, 70.6% (First Release)
Colour: honey gold /
Nose 23 points: floral, honey, fruity, raisins, vanilla /
Taste 23 points: medium-bodied, medicine, floral, fruity /
Finish 23 points: long finish /
Balance 23 points.
Total Points: 92/100.
Speyside-type Finnish single malt. Excellent local choice. Remember after first sniff and taste to put some crystal clear water into it to smooth it down.

Aged 4 years, d 20.3.2004, b January 2008, 70.6% (Second Release)
Colour: copper
Nose 24 points: sweet, oaky, licorice, black powder, honey, beewax
Taste 24 points: full-bodied, sweet, winey, salty, medicine, madeira
Finish 23 points: long and sweet finish
Balance: 24.
Total points: 95/100.
(There was also a four year old second release distilled 25.2.2003 and bottled 7/2007.)

Aged 5 years, barrel #4, d 20.3.2004, b 10.7.2009, 70.6% (Third Release)
Colour: amber /
Nose 24 points: sweet, candy, teabag, winey, sherry, floral, honeysuckle, beach mattress, dried fruits, leather, earthy, minty /
Taste 23 points: full-bodied, sweet, honey, floral, cut barley, winey, perfumed /
Finish 23 points: long & stray finish /
Balance 23 points.
Total points: 93/100.

Aged 6 Years, Barrel #4, d 20.3.2004, b 14.4.2010, 70.6% (Third Release)
Colour: dark deep red, sherry
Nose 24 points: sherry, smooth, honey, madeira, roasted sugar, coffee, winey, dark chocolate /
Taste 24 points: full-bodied, honey, plum, prunes, ripe fruits, sherry, oily, peach /
Finish 24 points: coffee, fruity, honey, sherry, long finish /
Balance 24 points.
Total points: 96/100.
Very nice sherryish version. The best Old Buck so far.

Aged 6 years, barrel #2, d 26.1.2005, b 2/2011, 69% (Fourth Release)
Colour: gold /
Nose 23 points: cognac, praline, vanilla, floral, soapy, honey /
Taste 22 points: full-bodied, very very vanilla and floral /
Finish 22 points: long and vanilla flavoured finish /
Balance 22 points. Not the best of Old Buck but still very nice.)
Total points: 89/100.

Aged 6 years, Bourbon barrel #6, d 25.10.2005, b 26.3.2012, 41.1%
Colour: orange/pale amber
Nose 23 points: fruity, rumraisins, Madeira-wine /
Taste 22 points: medium-bodied, fruity, honey, Madeira-wine. Very winey /
Finish 21 points: long and winey finish /
Balance 21 points. Oddly only 41.1% ABV instead of the usual 70%. Something happened while maturing but Mika H doesn't know what. Also oddly the aromas and taste are different to what usually are associated with Bourbon barrels. But still nice whisky.)
Total points: 87/100.

Aged 5 years, Bourbon Virgin barrel, d 2008, b 4/2013, 40 something %
Colour: Cooking oil /
Nose 21 points: Grassy quite pale scent /
Taste 21 points: medium-bodied, medicine, honey, spicy, vanilla /
Finish 20 points: medium long and medicinal finish /
Balance 21 points. A bit different kind of a release than the previous ones. Not so good but still tasty. I definitely need to re-taste this later.
Total points: 83/100.

Aged 3 Years, Seventh release (??), Barrell #14, d 5/2010, b 10/2013, Jack Daniel's barrel (first Plevna stout has been inside for 8 months and then Old Buck for 3.5 years), 69%
Colour:
Nose 22 points: smooth smokiness, woody, vanilla, soapy but in a very pleasant way /
Taste 23 points: Full-bodied, peppery, slightly smoky, vanilla which enhanced after adding a wee drop of water /
Finish 22 points: long and very smooth vanilla finish /
Balance 22 points.
This is an excellent release. I definitely want a re-tasting...
Total points: 89/100.

VYS Bottle, ex Bourbon barrel, 53.7%
Colour: honey
Nose 23 points: floral, fruity, honey, leather, perfume, vanilla, zesty, black powder
Taste 22 points: Full-bodied, fruity, honey, vanilla
Finish 22 points: long and vanilla finish
Balance 22 points.

Total points: 89/100.




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